Thursday, 23 February 2012

Documenting my thesis

My work explores design in outdoor space, the opportunity for learning in an outdoor environment and design for disability. Design for disability is often an add-on with emphasis on barrier free design. My approach is empathetic design. Connectedness with our environment and especially green space has been shown conclusively to increase health and well being. Everyone should have access to good green space. Research into innovative education has realised the value of informal outdoor learning. Education in outdoor setting is beneficial to motivate young people and can provide routes back into education.

The outdoor shelter is for the Glasgow Disabled Scouts at Auchengillan Outdoor Centre. 77th Glasgow Disabled Scouts is a scout group, which provides adventure, and personal development for boys aged 8 to 25 with physical and life limiting conditions. The shelter will allow outdoor activities to take place in bad weather. Team work and practical skills are central to scouting. Shelter 77 will allow its users to connect with nature in a safe environment. The shelter will be easy to construct and deconstruct and is adaptable. The Scouts and leaders have been engaged in the design process.

Diversity is a natural condition and designers have to welcome and embrace diversity. Professor J. Bickenback from the Canadian Centre for Disability, Law and Policy says, "Disability can be considered a fluid and continuous condition which has no boundaries but which is in fact, the essence of the human condition. Disability is something which will is experienced by us all at some stage in our lives. Disability is actually normal". The temporary nature of Shelter 77 allows for a wide variety of uses. Festivals, team building exercises and emergency shelters could be future uses for Shelter 77.

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